Gashtrays have sold and exhibited at a number of events across the UK, focusing on subjects such as diversity, equality, pleasure, period poverty, sexual health, and liberation. 

I feel very grateful to be invited into this community of renegades, working towards breaking body, sex and pleasure taboos. It's amazing to see so many people offering their knowledge to educate others and undo the damage that these stigmas have created.

 

As I am Dyslexic, I think it's important as part of my own personal development, to be able to critique and verbalize what I've learned along the way. This blog is a way for me to reflect on the things I've learned and share it back with this community.

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Shado Mag is an amazing publication educating its audience by sharing counter-public perspectives. A few weeks ago they asked me to write an article for them for their online edition.

I'll leave a teaser below but you can read the whole article at here.

'Taboos teach us the do’s and don’ts of social conduct. Often based in outdated social and religious customs, they come in all shapes and sizes, telling us what to do, like, hate, say, wear, eat and fuck.


Taboos protect the infrastructure of our patriarchal society, by silencing the debate around issues deemed as ‘sensitive’ or ‘TMI’ and ignoring the needs of those most often affected. Our delicious high carb diet of misrepresentative mainstream media, unrealistic porn, and superficial diet culture further reinforces these taboos, wreaking havoc on our blood pressure and self-image. This relentless conditioning has taught us one simple message: that we should be ashamed of our flaws and our desires. Furthermore, sexual education in schools glazes over so many vital aspects of natural sex and the body, such as foreplay, pleasure and experimentation. This education, alongside the unrealistic standards set by pornography, leaves us with a plethora of damaging myths and misconceptions to carry into adulthood. It’s created a culture where ‘no’ translates to ‘maybe’, and there’s a whole choreographed song and dance to avoid saying the word ‘tampon’ out loud.



These stigmas have a real tangible impact on our personal lives, but also on a much wider scale in society. They manifest in violent unscientific rituals designed to oppress and control, such as FGM, male circumcision, Chhaupadi; as well as phenomena such as ‘Corrective Rape’ in Uganda, the passing of the ‘Gay Propaganda Law’ in Russia, the recent Abortion Ban in Alabama, and worldwide period poverty.


Despite our supposed ‘progress’, taboos still hold an astonishing amount of power over us at all socio-economic levels, in and out of the bedroom.'

Why are girls SO obsessed with talking about sex today?


I've recently moved into a warehouse with 9 other people, 6 girls, and 3 boys. And I'm beginning to realise, contrary to popular belief...ladies seem to be WAY more obsessed with talking about sex than lads, it's all they fucking talk about! Granted, sex chat is one of the most entertaining conversations you can have, but give a girl an inch (so to speak) and watch as she runs a mile, chatting about 'this one time' and 'that one guy'.


Well, I'm thinking, maybe one reason why there seems to be such an uprise in events like Unwrap Yourself lately, focusing on female sexual liberation, is because we have been raised in an age when sex education in schools completely glazed over so many aspects of natural sex, eg. foreplay, pleasure and experimentation. This leaves girls with so many misconceptions, body dysmorphia, and the general question of...


'Am I normal?'





If you rewind to your teenage years, it seems to work the other way around. There's a straaange and sticky paradox in high school...


Girls, you keep them legs and lips shut tight baby girl! Admit you've watched porn and you'll be banished to the furthest lands, branded a harlot for the rest of your days.

'No, of course, I've never watched porn! Me? Masturbate? No no no, women are immune to hormones.'


Lads?

'Ok, so who's your favorite porn star?'

'Well, I'm a big fan of Stormy Daniels but recently Kendra Lust has really been doing it for me, she really commits to the plot and I appreciate that.'


Girls tend not to talk as openly as boys about the intricacies of sex during high school, despite the fact that a lot of women lose their virginities in this time (according to NHS Borders, a third of Brits lose their virginity before the age of 16). If they are talking about sex, you can guarantee its gonna be rose-tinted and doused with glitter. The result of this is that we become pent up with years worth of questions, stories and experiences that have never been validated by anyone before, and this can be really scary!


However, now that we're older and in this era of openness and acceptance, these topics are being approached much more candidly and honestly, enabling women to share and learn. Yes, it's fun and a bit of a giggle, but the impact of it can touch much deeper than that. It's incredibly therapeutic to have your past experiences, even traumas, acknowledged by a community of people who can relate, wants to listen, and wants you to heal. Going to events like Unwrap Yourself has answered so many questions for me personally, for which I'm very grateful. If you're worried something's not quite right, if you've experienced something that you're struggling to overcome, or if you just fucking love chatting shit about sexy sex, then I would thoroughly recommend finding an event like Unwrap Yourself!


Gashtrays / Hani

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